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Call for Proposals for Cycle 2

The ALMA Director, on behalf of the Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) and the partner organizations in East Asia, Europe, and North America, is pleased to announce the Early Science Cycle 2 Call for Proposals (CfP). Members of the astronomical community are invited to propose for scientific observations that will be scheduled from June 2014 to October 2015.

At full operational capability, the ALMA Observatory will include an array of fifty 12-m antennas for long baseline interferometric observations (the 12-m Array), and the Atacama Compact Array (ACA, aka Morita Array) composed of twelve 7-m antennas for short baseline interferometric observations (7-m Array) and four 12-m antennas for single-dish observations (Total Power or TP Array).

Cycle 2 observations provide an exciting opportunity for science from this unique world-class facility, though completion of the full 66-antenna array remains the highest ALMA priority.


Cycle 2 Capabilities

The ALMA Early Science Cycle 2 capabilities include:

  • Thirty-four 12-m antennas in the 12-m Array, nine 7-m antennas in the 7-m Array, and two 12-m antennas in the TP Array
  • Receiver bands 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 & 9 (wavelengths of about 3.1, 2.1, 1.3, 0.87, 0.74 and 0.44 mm)
  • Both single field interferometry and mosaics
  • Spectral-line observations with all Arrays (except Band 9 with the TP Array) and continuum observations with the 12-m Array and the 7-m Array
  • Polarization (on-axis, continuum, selected frequencies in Band 3, 6 and 7, no ACA, no mosaics, no circular polarization)
  • Mixed correlator modes (both high and low frequency resolution in the same observation)
  • Baselines up to 1 km for Bands 8 & 9
  • Baselines up to 1.5 km for Bands 3, 4, 6, & 7


Use of the ACA for short baseline interferometry and single-dish observations will only be offered to complement observations with the 12-m Array, and not as a stand-alone capability.

It is anticipated that about 2000 hours of 12-m Array time and ACA time will be available for Cycle 2 projects and highest priority projects transferred from Cycle 1. Complete details are available in the Cycle 2 Proposer's Guide.


Best Efforts

Cycle 2 operations will be conducted on a best efforts basis, similar to Cycle 1 and Cycle 0 observations, and in parallel with commissioning and verification of the whole ALMA system.

Successful proposers will share risk with ALMA. Observatory staff will perform data quality assurance and will provide reduced data products via the ALMA Regional Centers (ARCs). But project completion cannot be guaranteed, and the quality of the data and data reduction may not meet the standards expected when ALMA is in full scientific operations.


Proposal Submission

The ALMA Science Portal at is the principal resource for scientific users. All proposals must be prepared and submitted electronically using the ALMA Observing Tool (OT) software. A LaTeX template is recommended for the preparation of the proposal scientific justification. Registration at the Science Portal is required for ALMA proposal submission.


The proposal submission deadline is 15:00 UT on December 5, 2013.

Supporting Documents

All documents supporting this CfP are available at the ALMA Science Portal. Proposers are advised to consult the Roadmap and the Proposer’s Guide. Additional useful information is available in the ALMA Technical Handbook and Early Science Primer.

Obtaining Help

For information not provided at the Science Portal, proposers may submit a Helpdesk ticket. Registration at the ALMA Science Portal is required for Helpdesk ticket submission.


Proposal Review

All proposals submitted in response to this CfP will be subject to peer review by an international committee. Proposals will be assessed for their scientific merit and their potential contribution to the advancement of scientific knowledge, as well as the extent to which the planned observations demonstrate and exploit the ALMA Cycle 2 capabilities. Projects with the potential to deliver compelling science from relatively short observations will be favorably considered.

Proposals will be checked for duplication, as defined by the Cycle 2 Proposer’s Guide, against successful Cycle 1 (though not Cycle 0) projects. The Proposal Review Committee will make recommendations regarding potential duplications.

Cycle 2 proposals involving partial or full duplication of an approved Cycle 1 project by the same research team must include an explicit statement about the duplication(s). The proposers must specify if the duplicating observations need to be repeated in Cycle 2, even if they are successfully completed in Cycle 1. Such repetition must be scientifically justified. A list of the metadata from Cycle 1 proposals designated for transfer into Cycle 2 will be posted to the Science Portal in early November, so that Cycle 2 PIs can avoid duplicating these observations.

A Cycle 1 status report is on-line. Proposers may check the observational status of their Cycle 1 projects using the Project Tracker, available at the Science Portal.

Important dates

The key Cycle 2 dates follow. ALMA reserves the right to alter these dates.

24 October 2013 Release of Cycle 2 Call for Proposals and related tools and documents
24 October 2013 Science Archive opens for proposal submission
5 December 2013 Proposal submission deadline, 15:00 UT
April 2014 Proposal Review Process outcome notification
June 2014 Start of ALMA Cycle 2 science observations
October 2015 End of ALMA Cycle 2 science observations